14 June 2013, Geneva; The 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council concluded today with action being taken on all resolutions put before the Council for its deliberation. The Maldives during this session played an important role being a member of the Core Group as a main sponsor on the resolution on "Independence and Impartiality of the Judiciary and Lawyers", by extending its support to the mechanisms and special procedures of the Council and by supporting various initiatives aimed at promoting and protecting human rights.



A resolution entitled "the deteriorating situation of human rights in Syria" was also adopted during the session, encompassing the concerns of the international community after the estimated death toll in Syria reached over 93'000 according to the UN. The Maldives both co-sponsored and voted in favour of this resolution. It also condemned strongly the various violations committed by the Syrian authorities, including war crimes and crimes against humanity during the interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry.

Other major issues followed by the Maldives include; women's resolutions on eliminating violence, discrimination and on empowering women, freedom of expression and opinion, national policy and human rights, and finally, the independence of judges and lawyers amongst others. It also supported the work of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in occupied Palestinian territories, and delivered a statement reaffirming the Maldives' strong support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

The Maldives closely followed the 3 panels held during this session, namely: Panel on the Contribution of Parliaments to the work of HRC and UPR, Panel on Business and Human Rights, and Panel on Democracy and Law, along side the Annual Day Discussions on Women's Rights, at all of which statements were delivered by the delegation.

At this session, the Maldives co-sponsored a total of 13 resolutions, delivered 21 statements and aligned itself with a further 3 at the Human Rights Council. It also welcomed the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers on her report on the Maldives, and committed to implement her recommendations. The 23rd Session is the second session this year, which the Maldives has participated as the Vice-President of the Council. The next session of the Council is due to begin in September 2013.

ENDS